Tyre, Beirut, Sidon And Byblos Among The World’s 20 Oldest Cities

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The Telegraph posted today a list of the World’s 20 oldest continually-inhabited places on earth, which included four Lebanese cities: Tyre, Beirut, Sidon and Byblos. The list also included Faiyum and Thebes in Egypt, Kirkuk and Arbil in Iraq, Damascus and Aleppo in Syria and Jerusalem and Jericho in Palestine.

The fact that we have 4 of the world’s oldest cities should help us attract further tourists and promote our history instead of showing girls and night clubs in our tourism commercials.

Bikeathon 2014: Bike For Lebanon At The Beirut WaterFront

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The Bikeathon was launched last year and is a nice initiative to encourage Lebanese to bike for peace and encourage a more eco-friendly form of transportation. It’s happening this year at the Beirut Water Front on October 5th and you can register [Here].

We desperately needs more bikes and bike lanes in Lebanon to cut down the pollution and the traffic.

Tawlet Ammiq: Great Location, Amazing Food But A Dull Venue

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I went with a group of friends to Tawlet Ammiq a couple of weeks ago to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I’ve been hearing a lot about Tawlet Ammiq and I remember posting once a really cool video about it, so I was excited to try it out and see how the day goes.

Tawlet Ammiq or the eco-restaurant of the biosphere is an eco-friendly place characterized by the use of green construction techniques adapted to the climate of the area and the usage profile of the facility. It’s one of the greenest projects in Lebanon as it reduces energy consumption when compared to similar buildings, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by around 85%, recycles over 60% of solid waste and promotes tourism in the area. [More]

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In order to get to Ammiq, which is a beautiful village located in the West Beqaa area, you have to take the Dahr el Baydar road and then go right towards Qab Elias once you reach Chtaura [Google Maps]. The road in Qab Elias is not that good but once you reach Ammiq, the road is nicely paved with trees and greenery all around it. Once there, you will drive for around 8 or 10 minutes before you spot a Tawlet Ammiq sign. The venue is 2 minutes away from the main road.

ammiq PS: If you are planning to go during the weekend, leave very early specially on Saturday and try to be done by 3 or 4 pm to avoid the traffic on your way back to Beirut.

There’s a small unpaved road that gets you to Tawlet Ammiq but I thought I got lost at first as the venue was really small and not what I had in mind, but then I saw people parking and going down so I did the same. Once you walk in, there’s a table with all drinks on it, mainly beer (961 and Beirut Beer only), juices and Arak then there’s the indoor restaurant. Facing them, there’s a nice outdoor area with tables as well and long chairs where you can sit and tan or just have a drink, enjoy the nice Beqaa view and relax. There’s also a small room with bird paintings in it and some artwork.

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We got there around 11:30 am as we were told breakfast is served starting 11, which consisted of small Saj Manakish mixed with cheese, thyme and kechek. There was one guy doing the whole work so we had to wait a bit to get a couple of Manakish but I didn’t mind it as I was enjoying the breathtaking view and having a beer. The place was half empty when we got there, but it was packed by lunch time.

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At around 1pm, there’s an open buffet with all sorts of Lebanese dishes and four salads. Everything tastes fresh and the dishes are really good, specially the Chich Barak and Mafroukeh. I loved the tomato jam with the white Baladi cheese and the “kechek akhdar” which I’ve never tasted before. There’s also Kafta, fish and fwerigh.

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The dessert buffet was also rich and delicious, and I enjoyed most the Achta Knefe and fruit salad.

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After lunch we sat on the long chairs and enjoyed the sun and the view for an hour or so but by 2:30, there was nothing to do anymore. I walked around the venue but unlike the green valleys all over Ammiq, there’s nothing to see or explore. We had a Frisbee with us so we played a bit but that’s about it. I know that it’s an eco-friendly venue but it wouldn’t hurt to have some green spaces around it or at least put some music on to keep us entertained.

All in all, it’s a very nice cozy restaurant with amazing food and a nice setting but I wouldn’t recommend going there to spend the day. Going there for lunch is more than enough to enjoy the venue, the food and the view.

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